Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Rundown: Hidden Gems


There is a show returning to the airwaves tonight on Fox called Glee that I'm very pumped to watch. It has all the makings of an incredibly funny show and really, in the era of Reality television, good shows are hard to find.

What has me most excited about this show is the presence of Jane Lynch, who some will recognize from The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Role Models. Without a doubt, she is one of the funniest women out there.

But because so many people are now devoted to pseudo-television like The Bachelor, The Amazing Race and garbage like The Hills, a quality show like Glee could go somewhat undetected by a large portion of the population, landing it in the Hidden Gems category.

Here are five other personal favorites that fit the same bill.

Top Five Hidden Gems

5. Outkast's Aquemini
Before "Ms. Jackson" and Stankonia put Outkast on everyone's radar, their third album Aquemini was an absolute classic.

Loaded with lyrical gems and more funky beats than you know what to do with, Andre 3000 and Big Boi dropped a bomb on the world before they were dropping them over Baghdad.

The best of the bunch is "Skew it on the Bar-B," a quick-hitting Organized Noise creation featuring Raekwon on the second verse.

4. Sleepers
All it should take to get you to watch this movie is a look at the cast assembled in this brilliant flick about revenge:

Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Bacon, Jason Patric, Minnie Driver, Billy Crudup and the late Brad Renfo all deliver outstanding performances in Barry Levinson's surprisingly-slept on story of four friends from Hell's Kitchen.

Go to Blockbuster or wherever you rent movies and find it... you can thank me later.

3. The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green by Joshua Braff
While I picked up the book upon recommendation of a friend and because the author is the older brother of Zach Braff, the reasons I love this book extend way beyond the fraternal relationship the author has with the star of Scrubs.

This book had me laughing out loud and on the verge of tears as I read the story of young Jacob Green, a Jewish kid trying to figure out life and himself.

Let me put it this way: I loved this book so much, I've been painfully waiting for the last five years for another offering from the elder Braff.

2. Garden State Soundtrack
Yes, I love the movie and recommend it to anyone as well, but a ton of people know about it and I've told anyone I know who didn't already, so including the film would be pointless.

The soundtrack, however, is another story altogether. Soundtracks often get overlooked when they don't have some massive billboard smash on them. That fate befell this gem, but I'm not complaining.

It is the perfect accompaniment for a long drive, as there are up-tempo tunes and mellow moments as well, including tracks from Coldplay, Zero 7, Colin Hay and The Shin, who will, of course, change your life.

1. A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
This movie was such a surprise to me that I immediately bought a copy from Blockbuster and routinely fall asleep watching it on nights when Sarah is at work.

Divided into two times - present and past - the younger stars pull as much weight, if not more, than the adult stars of the film, and that's saying a lot when you're up against Robert Downey Jr., Rosario Dawson, Chazz Palminteri and Dianne Wiest.

But Shia LaBeouf, Martin Compston, and Melonie Diaz all shine. The performance Channing Tatum puts forth as "Antonio" will show you why many believe he is one the most talented young actors in Hollywood today.

11 comments:

Lorenz said...

You should definitely check out the book "Sleepers." As the cliche goes, I liked it much better than the movie.

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